The release of Huawei's new smartphone has attracted the attention of U.S. consumers who previously used the company's devices prior to sanctions imposed by the United States.
Huawei Technologies quietly released its new Mate 60 Pro smartphone without any prior notice or marketing shortly before the release of Apple's new iPhone 15 series. It was quickly snapped up by fans in China and captured international attention.
The new Mate 60 Pro marks the first time in three years that "Huawei is back", with better capability of supporting satellite communications, increased crash and water resistance, camera performance, and air touch technology, according to a promotional letter from Huawei.
"It looks good, it's very pretty," Leshawn, a staff member at a Zara retail store in New York and a content creator on Instagram, said after she watched the Mate 60 Pro promotional video.
She said she had a Huawei phone a few years ago and was "disappointed" when the signal was blocked. She is excited to see the improvement in the camera quality of the new phone and is looking forward to more phone storage.
Leshawn is from the Caribbean, where iPhones are prominent. Without restrictions, many Chinese devices, including Huawei's, were well received there.
"It's definitely worth trying, and I would like to check it out if it's available in the U.S.," she added.
Although Huawei's sales are far less than Apple's, the Shenzhen-based company is still one of Apple's biggest competitors in China.
Luisa Seebaluck, a staff member at the Committee of 100, once owned a Huawei smartphone and a tablet. She said she really liked the devices and was disappointed when it was discontinued due to the technology tension between the United States and China.
"There are too many government involvements between the two countries that seem like they've been that way for a while, and we do have some work to do to kind of rebuild the relationship there," she said, adding that sanctions hurt global technology growth because "it's good to have choices rather than be dominated by one brand", and having multiple options within the marketplace is beneficial.
"I would happily buy another Huawei phone ... if it was available in the U.S.. I would give it another try. I've done it once before, and I'm sure I would try. It's not just Apple, not just Samsung. It's good to have competitors in that field," Seebaluck said.
For Apple, China remains its largest market. The iPhone 14 Pro Max was the best-selling device in China in October last year, according to Counterpoint Research.
Although Apple has earned billions of dollars in China, Huawei has been banned in the U.S. for years.
Stephen, an independent history filmmaker, said it is not surprising that China is able to develop its own chips despite U.S. sanctions, and China had to figure out a way.
"I don't think sanctions are good. If they are independent countries, they should be, in principle, free to do what they want," he said.
"The good part of the sanctions is it can stimulate global competition and stimulate one's own production, innovation, new ideas and so on," he added.
"The bad part (of U.S. sanctions) is that ... it poisons the atmosphere of international relations. It's better to be friends than enemies in like a tariff war, trade war or sanctions war."